When we suffer loss, it is natural to grieve. Everyone grieves differently and in his or her own time. It can be helpful to know what to expect and how to cope. Here are some thoughts.
Normal Human Responses to Loss
(Described by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. It is helpful to see these as things we experience in our own way and our own time rather than as a check list that we need to accomplish.)
Denial - I can't believe the person is gone.
Bargaining - If I do this, or that, maybe the person will return. ("Is it a deal, God?")
Anger - I look for someone or something to blame for my loss. I may feel betrayed.
Depression - I realize there is nothing that I can do to bring back the lost person.
Acceptance - I begin to see that the loss is real and I look for ways to accept it.
Normal Physical Symptoms of Grief
loss of weight
feeling of "something stuck in my throat"
empty feeling in the stomach
over sensitivity to noise
weakness in muscles
uncontrollable sighing and sobbing
a great sadness
loss of sexual desire or an overly active sexual desire
various gastrointestinal symptoms: constipation, diarrhea, or excessive gas
anger, sometimes at God
Clues that Someone May Be Struggling With Loss
Compulsive behavior - overeating, not eating, over exercising, alcohol or drug use, hyperactive
Intense and frequent mood swings
Outbursts or inward expressions of rage that result in property damage, dangerous behavior directed at oneself or threats to another person
Some Ways to Cope with Grief
Writing about your experience
Talking with a parent, trusted friend, counselor, your priest, rabbi, minister or other spiritual guide